Post by Dave Homewood on Nov 16, 2019 22:54:06 GMT 12
PHOTOGRAPHING AN AEROPLANE
(P.A.) CHRISTCHURCH, June 22,
"I intend to stop it and stop it sharply," said Mr. Levvey, S.M., in the Magistrate's Court this morning when imposing a fine of £20 with costs on Edith Phyllis Guest, housewife, on a charge of taking a photograph of an aeroplane contrary to the Photography Emergency Regulations, 1939. She pleaded guilty and elected to be dealt with summarily. Senior Detective H. Nuttall said the woman had taken a photograph showing her husband, an aircraft sergeant, sitting on an aeroplane. The photograph would undoubtedly have been of great value if it had fallen into enemy hands.
For the defence Mr. F. D. Sargent said the picture was not very plain and the offence had been committed quite openly without sinister intent. It was a case of gross carelessness.
"Worse than gross carelessness, lunacy," commented the Magistrate.
The powers that Governments award themselves in time of war (including New Zealand) certainly did verge on lunacy! It also seems the Judiciary delighted in enforcing them - not much "contextualisation" mentioned here. However I doubt that the learned magistrate had much wriggle room in this instance, and making clear the message of the existing law in a very public was the paramount consideration. It is also interesting that a photograph of a brand new Kittyhawk (in New Zealand) and published in a widely circulated periodical which clearly depicted the presence of all six .50 calibre Brownings in the wings, was commented on, although it was also widely known (although not publically) that the Axis powers were well aware of this armament because of the numbers of these aircraft already in enemy hands. In New Zealand it was normal practice to censor all military aircraft photographs in case such details as new arrangements of armament, and particularly radar devices were "air-brushed' out of the image. One photograph which is still published to this day in its censored form depicts a Catalina at Hobsonville with its ASV search aerials under the wings completely "removed"; I think they kept the original negative, but made a copy negative which was then "doctored" so that prints made from this variant were the ones distributed to newspapers, etc. This was also done with early TBF Avenger photographs. During 1942 and 1943 in New Zealand, the presence of "new types" of aircraft in the country was also not allowed to be commented upon, so much so that the officer personnel of Air Training Corps units were writing to the Air Department to report that they had just identified the Anson and the Kittyhawk in our skies, and wanted confirmation. They also pointed out that they were using standard and approved British identification publications, and wondered why they were not informed of these developments. This sort of withholding information on new types was of course very common in most warring nations, especially the UK, where "new types" in service were only acknowledged after the powers that be were pretty certain that the enemy was almost certainly aware of them, often by fact that examples were known to have fallen in their territory. The Westland Whirlwind, DH Mosquito, and most of the heavy bombers were kept under wraps for many months after their entry into service in numbers. David D
Maurice Conly painted Catalinas at Halavo Bay during WWII. When he was revisiting his original watercolours to make an oil painting for the Museum, I was asked to comment on the accuracy. I noted that the ASV antenna were missing from his watercolours and showed Maurice photographs of the proper fit. He remarked that he must have been directed by the censor to remove them during his original sketching Wartime censorship was a fickle thing, and some of the attempts to "hide" antenna etc on photographs only highlighted the fact that something was there!